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Pacana vs.

Pascual Lopez
A.C. No. 8243 July 24, 2009

Facts:
Rolando Pacana, Jr. (complainant) filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Maricel
Pascual-Lopez (respondent) charging the latter with flagrant violation of the provisions of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Complainant alleges that respondent commited acts constituting conflict of
interest, dishonesty, influence peddling, and failure to render an accounting of all the money and
properties received by her from complainant.
Complainant worked for Multitel and earned the ire of investors after becoming the assignee of
majority of the shares of stock of Precedent and after being appointed as trustee of a fund amounting to
Thirty Million Pesos (P30,000,000.00) deposited at Real Bank.
Complainant sought the advice of respondent and a lawyer-client relationship was established
between the parties although no formal document was executed. Complainant learned of the respondents
clients in Multitel after receiving a demand letter from the latter. Respondent continued to help
complainant through the latter paying an amount and even transferring property to the former on different
occasions to be used in dealing with the latters liabilities. Complainant then went to the US to avoid
being arrested while respondent handles his liabilities.
When complainant returned to the Philippines, respondent informed him that he has been cleared
by the NBI and the BID. Respondent continued that she was willing to return an amount to complainant
after all the accumulated legal fees the former had earned from settling the liabilities of both complainant
and the clients from Multitel. Complainant accepted the offer of receiving amount but respondent failed to
fulfill the promise.
Soon, complainant noticed that respondent began to avoid communicating with him. Complainant
then wrote to respondent a letter formally asking for a full accounting of all the money, documents and
properties given to the latter but respondent failed to provide a clear audited financial report of all the
properties turned over by the complainant to the respondent. Complainant filed an affidavit-complaint
against respondent before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP) seeking the disbarment of respondent.

Issue:
Did the respondent violate Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility, representing
conflicting interests?
Holding:
Yes. Respondent Atty. Maricel Pascual-Lopez is hereby DISBARRED for representing conflicting
interests and for engaging in unlawful, dishonest and deceitful conduct in violation of her Lawyers Oath
and the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Rationale:
Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility provides:
A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned
given after full disclosure of the facts.
Clearly, respondent established a lawyer-client relationship with the complainant while aware that
respondent also represents clients of Multitel, who are opposed to the liabilities of the complainant.
Moreover, respondent took advantage of the complainants situation by giving him advice, and later on,
soliciting money and properties from him which were used to satisfy clients of Multitel.

SHORTEST VERSION:

FACT:
Complainant, Rolanda Pacana, filed a disbarment complaint against Respondent Atty. Maricel Pascual
Lopez for acts constituting conflict of interests, dishonesty, influence peddling and failure to render an
accounting of all the money and properties received by her from complainant.
Complainant sought the advice of respondent regarding the investment problems of Multitel which
established their lawyer-client relationship although no formal documents was executed. Complainant
sought the advice of respondent and a lawyer-client relationship was established between the parties
although no formal document was executed. Complainant learned of the respondents clients in Multitel
after receiving a demand letter from the latter. Soon, complainant noticed that respondent began to avoid
communicating with him. Complainant then wrote to respondent a letter formally asking for a full
accounting of all the money, documents and properties given to the latter but respondent failed to provide
a clear audited financial report of all the properties turned over by the complainant to the respondent. Hence,
this complaint.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent violated Rule 15.03 of the CPR, pertaining to conflicting interests?

HELD:
Yes. Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility provides:
A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given
after full disclosure of the facts.
Clearly, respondent established a lawyer-client relationship with the complainant while aware that
respondent also represents clients of Multitel, who are opposed to the liabilities of the complainant.
Moreover, respondent took advantage of the complainants situation by giving him advice, and later on,
soliciting money and properties from him which were used to satisfy clients of Multitel.